Credit One Bank American Express Card Review

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The Credit One Bank American Express Card is a simple cash-back card with a slight twist. Value-wise, the rewards rate is low, and there’s an annual fee and high APR. But, it gives those who may have imperfect credit a taste of travel and purchase benefits normally reserved for cardholders with good credit., You get access to perks like travel discounts, special access to ticket sales, and insurance for damaged purchases.

Credit One Bank American Express® Card

Overall Rating
3.2
Credit One Bank American Express® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $39
Rewards Earning Rate 1.0% cash back on eligible purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.8
for Fees
2.6
for Rewards
2.7
for Credit
4.4

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
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    Savvy Saver

If you’ve only got average credit but want cash rewards and benefits like those usually only available on travel cards for people with good credit, the Credit One Bank American Express is an intriguing option. Competing cards offer bigger rewards, no annual fee, or a lower APR, but if you’re looking for a decent credit limit and a few extras, this low-maintenance card may be worthwhile.

Pros
  • A decent credit limit that may go up

  • Amex benefits

Cons
  • Low cash-back rate

  • Annual fee and high APR

  • No welcome offer or promotional APR

Pros Explained

  • A decent credit limit that may go up: The card’s minimum credit limit of $500 is as good or higher than you’ll find on some competing cards. Plus, Credit One will automatically review your account, so if you establish a good track record, you could be eligible for an increase.
  • Amex benefits: Cardholders get access to some of the perks American Express is best known for: hotel amenities, dining and shopping discounts, travel and purchase protections, and special access to concert tickets.

Cons Explained

  • Low cash-back rate: Getting 1% of all your purchases back in cash is better than nothing, but you can do better with some competitor cards.
  • Annual fee and high APR: While annual fees are not unusual for cards marketed to people with bad to average credit, there are credit cards without one—even some with rewards. The APR is also on the high end, too, even among the suite of similar cards issued by Credit One. 
  • No welcome offer or promotional APR: With an unimpressive cash-back rate and an annual fee, it would be nice to get some up-front value or bonus on this card. Without it, the card becomes less appealing than even some secured cards.

Redeeming Points & Rewards

The Credit One Bank American Express Card is no fuss, but if you want to use your rewards for something else (or just hold cold hard cash in your hand), look for another card. There are no other redemption options beyond the automatic statement credit. You can’t request a check or buy gift cards like you can with many other rewards cards. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Make the most of this card by keeping your spending in check and paying your bill in full each month, on time. If you do, you should eventually be rewarded with a higher credit limit from Credit One, and hopefully, a better credit score. Then, this card will have served its purpose, and you can shop around for cards that offer better value.

Credit score calculations weigh payment history and credit utilization (the amount of available credit you’re using) the most heavily. Don’t miss payments and aim to use no more than 30% of your overall credit limit.

In the meantime, use the card to book hotels, flights and rental cars through American Express’ travel site. You can get discounts of 2%-10% on Delta flights, up to 20% off on certain hotels, and up to 25% off on car rentals from major rental companies.

Credit One Bank Amex Card’s Excellent Perks

Credit cards may offer a wide variety of benefits, but some stand out for their exceptional value. Our editors have deemed one of this card’s benefits as, “excellent,” which is relatively rare for a card that targets people with average credit:

  • Travel accident insurance: If your entire trip is paid for on your card, you’ll get accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $150,000 if there’s an accident while you’re traveling.

Credit One Bank Amex Card’s Other Features

Among the other features offered, some may be harder to find without an American Express card:

  • Sports, music, and event ticket presales
  • Discounts and special fares with certain travel partners
  • Amex Offers (discounts on select purchases if you opt in)
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
  • Extended warranties

Customer Experience

Credit One Bank scored quite poorly in J.D. Power’s 2019 credit card customer satisfaction survey, finishing last among 11 national card issuers. Credit One has a variety of customer service phone numbers, as well as a mobile app you can use to manage your account.

One nice service-related feature is that you can decide your payment due date. After you get your initial bill, just call customer service to choose a different due date that is at least six days before or after the originally assigned date. Also, cardholders have complimentary access to their Experian ScoreX credit score, a good feature for tracking progress as you look to strengthen your credit.

It can take up to 60 days to get access to your credit score through Experian ScoreX.

Security Features 

The Credit One Bank American Express Card has standard security features (zero fraud liability, fraud alerts, etc.)

Credit One Bank Amex Card’s Fees to Watch For

Besides the annual fee, the Credit One Bank American Express Card charges a $19 authorized user fee, and a fee for any foreign transactions (3% of your purchase or $1, whichever is greater). There isn’t a penalty APR, but given that the regular purchase APR is already high, it’s hardly a selling point.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Credit One Bank American Express® Card
overall rating
3.2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $39
Rewards Earning Rate 1.0% cash back on eligible purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Credit One Bank. "Credit Card and Credit Protections Terms and Conditions." Accessed July 16, 2020.

  2. American Express. "Card Benefits." Accessed July 16, 2020

  3. American Express. "Credit One Bank American Express Card Benefits." Accessed July 16, 2020

  4. J.D. Power. "2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed July 16, 2020.

  5. Credit One Bank. "Credit Card and Credit Protections Terms and Conditions." Accessed July 16, 2020